The Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law last week by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has already started the state smoldering. While one neighbor might help another neighbor put out a fire, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown was joined last Wednesday at the Statehouse in Columbus by other city leaders who invited businesses to cross the border and invest in Ohio.
Brown, City Leaders Deliver
“We’re here today with one message: Ohio is open for business—for everyone,” Sen. Sherrod Brown said. “While we still have more work to do in Ohio to ensure that LGBT Ohioans have full legal equality, I believe we are on the right track,” he said. Brown noted that business leaders and mayors, who of whom joined him today, make it clear that “we welcome everyone to Ohio.” Being inclusive instead of exclusive is how Brown believes economies grown. “And that’s why we are here today to say Ohio will not join this wave of discrimination. We’re open for business to everyone, everywhere, regardless of whom they love or how they worship.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Canton Mayor William Healy, Columbus City Council President Andrew Ginther, and a salon owner from Dayton joined Brown to say cities are open for business. Mayor Whaley pointed to Dayton efforts like a nationally recognized attraction effort like “Welcome Dayton” and the Human Rights Campaign’s All Star City designation as well as local legislation to support marriage equality.
Columbus City Council President Andrew J. Ginther, who wants to be Columbus’ next mayor, talked of the capital city’s strengths on diversity. “While some communities are turning back the clock on equal rights, Columbus is focused on being the most welcoming, inclusive and diverse city possible. Residents overwhelmingly agreed with City Council when they voted to place anti-discrimination language in the City charter. I look forward to the day when the rest of America can embrace equality like Columbus has.”